Would he get big enough to withstand the physicality of the NHL?
|Joe Colborne, University of Denver |
However, “Big Joe” has gone a long way towards earning his nickname while proving the Bruins right. And after working hard during his freshman season with the Denver Pioneers a bulked up, stronger 19-year old Colborne has fans thinking about his arrival on Causeway Street.
“He’s on the track to be able to protect the puck and make it awfully difficult for people to get it off him,” said Don Sweeney, Boston's Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development. “Part of that…is that maturity aspect of things.
“You just start to fill out and grow into your body so to speak and get rid of that gangly, awkward stuff and he’s certainly done a lot of that.
“He realizes athleticism [is nurtured] in the gym and on the ice it’s starting to take shape,” he said.
After completing his second Bruins Development Camp and then spending an extra week training with Bruins Strength and Conditioning coach John Whitesides, the young Alberta native has added over 15-pounds of muscle weight (he’s now 206-pounds) to his 6’5 frame as he continues to work on his on-ice game.
Colborne’s arrival on Denver’s campus was highly anticipated. Even before the campaign started, he was garnering attention and was named one of College Hockey News’s pre-season All-America “Player to Watch” and The Capital Times’ pre-season Rookie of the Year.
The freshman forward played in all 40 of the Pioneer’s games, and tallied 10-21-31 totals – fifth in scoring for league rookies. At the end of the season he was awarded the Barry Sharp Memorial Award, given to Denver’s top freshman player, and named to the All-WCHA Rookie Team.
“College was actually a little easier than I thought it would be,” said Colborne of his first year. “And there was so much school spirit around the hockey team that [teachers] were really interested in how we did every weekend.”
But now, with Bruins Development Camp over and some free weeks until he heads back to campus, the potential Bruin had a chance to enjoy summer by hitting the links.
“I like to golf, but lately my game has been going downhill so I’ve been staying away from the course a little bit,” Colborne said with a smile. “I get bored easily, so I may go bowling to just change it up.”
But the young playmaker isn’t getting bored with his main goals.
“I want to get bigger, stronger, and kind of take that next step where I’ll be controlling the puck even more and just get my game ready for [the time] when I can hopefully make the jump to the Bruins,” Colborne said.